At 2 degrees above, it was a cold start to Mt. Hale, but that’s the way it is in January in New England. I’ve hiked in these temperatures before, so appropriately geared up, I set off for Mt. Hale. I parked at the end of Little River Rd. in Twin Mountain, past the Seven Dwarves Motel. A quick one mile shortcut took me to Haystack Rd. and the parking area for the North Twin Trail.
The sun was shining which made for a lovely morning and made it seem a little warmer than it really was. I headed up the North Twin Trail, then took the herdpath at the first crossing of the Little River to avoid the crossing and to get to the abandoned Firewarden’s Trail. The Firewarden’s Trail, was known as the Mt. Hale Trail at one time. While it is officially abandoned, it still sees quite a bit of use in all seasons. It is especially used in the winter as a shorter trek to Mt. Hale for hikers and as some nice birch glade skiing for backcountry skiers.
I made my way through the birch glades, and then up into the evergreen forest, and even got a peek at the Presidential Range as I got closer to the summit of Mt. Hale. By this point, the wind had picked up quite a bit, and as soon as I got to the summit clearing, I put on a shell and tagged the summit. I was eager to move back down out of the wind zone and into better tree cover.
It was a quick trip back down the trail to the North Twin herdpath and then back on the North Twin Trail proper. Along the way the North Twin Trail travels close enough to the river to have some interesting views of the ice and rushing water.
I made it back to the car in good time, not seeing anyone on the trail. I didn’t expected to, but you never know who you will see out on the trails. None the less, it was a beautiful morning spent enjoying the trail and forest around me.